Mobile operators in Spain have told the government there is now little chance of the majority of Pay-as-you-go users registering their details with the authorities, and that could mean 12 million of these users lose their mobile connections. The government passed a law in October 2007 (following the Madrid bombings) that stated Pay-as-you-go users would be cut off if they didn't register name, identity card number and address with their operators before 7th November 2009.
Having only seen three million registered out of a total of 15 million Pay-as-you-go users, operators blame the poor response on the registration campaign being based solely on the Internet. They claim that contacting users by means of text messages to ask them to register their details has not been successful especially amongst user groups like the young or the retired. In addition, some smaller operators do not possess sufficient resources to deal with large numbers of people registering themselves in person.
While the government has not responded to the operators' appeal for another campaign, service providers have expressed their reluctance to drop the connection to millions of users in the middle of a recession. The three largest operators in Spain, Movistar, Vodafone and Orange, have estimated it could cost up to €50 million in lost revenue if they comply with the requirements set down by law.
For more on this story:
Spanish mobile market could worsen, believes FT CEO
Spain to place tax on service providers, TV stations
Palm Pre to Launch in Europe with O2 and Movistar